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Grapefruit Chicken

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  • Prep 30 min
  • Total 60 min
  • Servings 4
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Fried chicken pieces tossed in a sweet and sour grapefruit sauce and served over rice. A great twist on a classic Chinese dish.
by: Macheesmo
Updated Mar 7, 2017
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  • 2 lb chicken breasts, cubed
  • 3 large eggs, whisked
  • 1 quart vegetable or peanut oil, for frying
  • 1/4 cup scallions, greens only (garnish)


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground pepper


  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup grapefruit juice
  • 1 tablespoon grapefruit zest
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce


  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 3 tablespoons water


  • 1
    Mix all sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Let sauce simmer for 10 minutes.
  • 2
    Let sauce cool slightly and strain through a metal strainer. Set aside for later.
  • 3
    Cube chicken into 1 inch cubes. Dredge chicken cubes in flour, then eggs, then back to flour to form a thick breading on each piece.
  • 4
    Heat oil to 350°F in a large pot or wok.
  • 5
    Once your chicken is breaded, fry it at 350°F in batches until it's golden browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes per batch. Remove chicken and let drain briefly on some paper towels.
  • 6
    When done frying, add sauce to a large skillet or wok and bring to a simmer over high heat.
  • 7
    While the sauce is simmering, stir together corn starch and water in a small bowl to make a slurry. Then add the slurry to the hot sauce. it should almost immediately thicken.
  • 8
    Toss chicken in with sauce and stir to coat chicken evenly.
  • 9
    Serve over rice with chopped scallions and extra soy sauce.

Nutrition Information

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • One of my favorite Chinese take-out dishes is citrus chicken. It can be lemon or orange, but I love the slightly sweet and sour sauce with the crispy fried chicken. While there’s a whole world of citrus out there, you really only see those two kinds on most menus: orange and lemon. Since grapefruits are really good right now, I thought I’d change up the traditional recipe and try to use grapefruit instead. The sauce has a little more tang to it, which is balanced with some sugar. Man, is it addictive! Obviously, to start this you’ll need some grapefruit juice. Since you also need the zest of the grapefruit for the recipe, just pick up a whole grapefruit. Look for one that is firm, but gives to pressure on the ends. When you’re prepping the grapefruit, it’s a lot easier to zest the grapefruit before juicing it. Just use a zester or microplane and scrape off the very outer layer of zest from the fruit. You should get about a tablespoon and will use it all. Then just slice it in half and juice it! You probably won’t need all the juice from one grapefruit. Besides those things, the only thing you need to actually chop for the sauce is some fresh ginger and garlic. Both of these are very important to giving the sauce rich flavor. While you could leave this sauce kind of chunky, I recommend straining it, which will make for a silky smooth sauce at the end. It’ll be closer to what you would get in a restaurant if you strain it. Don’t worry, the sauce will be infused with plenty of flavor at this point. As always when frying, I highly recommend using a deep-fry thermometer to make sure your oil is the right temperature. I also always recommend doing a test piece of chicken just to make sure your breading is right and everything is working.
  • Serve this stuff with some rice. I like to garnish mine with some scallion greens but that’s optional. I think this will really surprise you both with flavor and how easy it is to actually make. You could really have this meal on the table in under an hour without a problem. If you’re tired of orange and lemon…try grapefruit!
  • Check out the rest of our citrus recipes packed with tangy, fresh flavor!
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